High Speed Memoriam: RW | Naming Buckeye Current's vehicle
"Race on, Ryan Williams. You’re forever with us." Preserving the legacy that named the vehicle.
Reposted from Buckeye Current's website, originally posted May 2013.
When beginning the design of Buckeye Current’s newest bike, a full 12 months ago, it was unanimously decided that always referring to it as “the new bike” was getting to be too much to say. Around this point, “RW-2″ was implemented. Various folks have asked me,”What is the significance behind RW-2 as the name?” Quite simply, because the previous bike was RW-1. … But why RW-1?
RW are the initials of one of the founding team members, Ryan Williams. Ryan was a happy, super friendly engineering student at OSU who also had an irrepressible urge for riding fast motorcycles. He was part of the student voice that had every vision and dedication to create a bike capable of completing at the Isle of Man TT Zero. He would sand and weld and drill and build. Ryan passed away in a motorcycle accident one night two years ago, but our lives have been changed for knowing such a strong young man.
Sean Ewing, co-founder of the team and 2011 BS ECE, proposed that RW-1 be the name of the bike that Ryan was a part of, even on the last day of his life. RW-1 was finished and time tested at the East Cost Timing Association’s Maxton ‘Flying Mile’ in 2011 to an ECTA record speed of 114 mph, and again in 2012 upwards of 144 mph. It was absolutely fitting that we continue with RW-2 as we furthered our dream, Ryan’s dream, of making it to the IOM TT.
Joseph Mudrak, an initial member, 2013 BS ME, and graphic designer on the team, incorporated a set of wings to envelope the tail piece of the bike. As rider Casey Putsch said on test day “I can feel Ryan behind the bike, pushing me forward as I ride.”
Co-founder Kyle Ginaven, 2013 BS ME, reached out to Ryan’s mother, Lynda Williams, to ask if there could be something of his we might take over to the races to either put on the bike or leave at the Isle in his memory. Lynda and I met up this past Wednesday evening, shared some laughs, stories, and a cool pint while sitting in the sunshine. She passed me a few tokens for the team to embrace.
We will be taking a lapel pin set of wings with us that were with Ryan through high school. Perhaps our rider, Rob ‘Bullet‘ Barber, will wear them or keep them in a pocket when he races, or perhaps we can somehow affix them to the bike. Either way, the extra wings and Ryan’s spirit may be what nudges us across the finish line.
I also now have a “Williams” name tag and a photo of Ryan, originally intended for his passport that was going to bring him to the Isle only two years ago. When discussing with Polina Brodsky, sophomore ME and my travel buddy, we remember a story we heard about a faery garden and a meditation spot for the TT riders to remember those that have gone before them. I intend on researching this more, although currently stifled due to lack of internet in the Newark airport. (note: now posting from Belfast, but intend on a little follow up research to this possible garden spot).
Race on, Ryan Williams. You’re forever with us.
[2013-2014 Buckeye Current team administrative leader]